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Sunday 14 January 2018

The Damned: Evil Spirits Unleashed On Bexhill-On-Sea

Over forty years since their initial explosion across the fledgling London punk scene, and some ten years since the release of their last studio recordings, British punk legends The Damned are set to return in 2018 with both new material and - as part of a UK tour - a date on the South Coast.
The Damned (c) John Ingham 1977

Having last released new material in 2008 with their So, Who's Paranoid? album, 2018 will see the unveiling of a hugely-anticipated new album. 

Recorded in New York by famed producer Tony Visconti, whose list of past working-relationships reads like a who"s who of popular music (David Bowie, T-Rex, Morrissey, U2, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop and Thin Lizzy to name but a few!), the band promise a dizzying blend of high-energy punk rock, creative psychedelic pop and classic songwriting.

"Our new Tony Visconti produced album, as with all previous Damned records, very much has its own sound," says Captain Sensible. 

"We're looking forward to having an element of that mixed in with the old faves on this tour."

It was the summer of 1976 when Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible recruited guitarist and songwriter Brian James, played their first gig supporting the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club, quickly signed to Stiff Records and began writing the very first chapter of the punk rock history books.
 
Their debut 7" - New Rose – was written by Brian James and backed by a proto-thrash version of The Beatles" Help. 


It was recorded by Stiff's in-house producer, Nick Lowe and set the punk dream alight at exactly 9.00am when record shops opened for business on 22 October 1976, stealing a march on the Pistols by becoming what is widely acknowledged as the very first punk record ever released.

The band really came into their own with their second single - Neat Neat Neat - which had two cuts on the B-side, Stab Yor Back and Singalongascabies.  

Produced, like New Rose, by Nick Lowe, the vinyl had a message from one band member scratched in the run-out groove: "this is your captain speaking..."  

So what were Captain Sensible's favourite acts on Stiff?  

"I wasn't interested!" he insists. "It was mainly pub rock in the early days, which we despised and sneered at in our young and snotty way…"

After a special 7" - Stretcher Case Baby - cut to give away at gigs celebrating the band's first anniversary, they went back into the studio, this time with Pink Floyd's Nick Mason at the controls. 


Third single Problem Child was written by Brian James with Rat Scabies and featured new recruit Lu Edmonds on guitar.  
 
By the end of 1977, the Damned were ready to part with Stiff, just as Brian James and Lu Edmonds were ready to part with The Damned.  

Their last single was Don't Cry Wolf, backed with another Nick Mason-produced track, One Way Love.

The Damned now present a limited-edition set comprising of 5 x 7" vinyl singles including the famed first ever punk single, New Rose, and all the other early hits from the impressively chaotic punk quartet. 

All singles have been recreated with their original artwork, including the ultra-rare, previously fan club only Stretcher Case Baby. 

These are all packed in a box, collaged with original press cuttings and a Damned embroidered patch, exclusive to this box-set.

The Damned's 'Evil Spirits Tour' comes to  De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea on Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley




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Whats on in Brighton today


Stone Foundation's new album, Everybody, Anyone, was recorded at Paul Weller's Black Barn Studios in Surrey and features a sprinkling of guest musicians.

The flamboyant world of Brighton in the 1880s and back-street life of the 1930s and 50s are the focus of two new books from community publisher QueenSpark Books.

Reading the wonderful new Ronnie Lane oral biography, Can You Show Me A Dream?, it would be easy for the reader to be left with the impression that Ronnie's life cycle had been a wild journey with a sad ending. But for Ronnie the journey hadn't ended. The letter had left the envelope, that's all.

Black Deer Festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Eridge Park, Britain's oldest deer park, located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells, and you can expect an array of authentic americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases, storytellings from cultural pioneers, not to mention a line-up of artists across the Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres.  

The RPMs new single Let Things Happen raises the bar significantly for this young Brighton band. 
(c) Tom Sheehan 2018

Del Amitri return this summer for a UK tour, the celebrated Glaswegian band's first run of dates since 2014.

Albert Hammond Jr's latest album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Sea Life Brighton has issued an urgent appeal for the public to become more responsible with their waste after collecting a record amount of rubbish on Brighton beach. 

One-hundred years on from the first women in the country being granted the right to vote, Brighton Dome has been officially recognised as one of forty-one buildings across England that were at the centre of suffragette action.

Joan Armatrading is a woman of candour – not to mention can do. She gets straight to the heart of the matter, and she delivers.

The drama and magic of Glyndebourne Festival provide the inspiration for a new children’s book, The Mulberry Bees.

Fusing powerful song writing with musical flare, Brighton-based Hatful of Rain combine their English, Celtic and American inspirations to great effect on their new album. 

The UK's first ever interactive film event, an opportunity to walk a mile in someone else's shoes or to fly in a virtual reality world, and a marathon performance of remembered dances are all part of a packed autumn season at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton.  

A special ceremony is being held this month at Woodvale Cemetery, Brighton, to return the gravestone of Thomas Highflyer, a 12-year-old slave boy who was rescued from a slave dhow and died in Brighton 148 years ago.

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